Melbourne Marvel

It’s safe to say there’s been quite a bit of excitement in the FT Adjusting office this week. And it’s not just the Sydney office. Last week, we announced the exciting news that FT Adjusting is expanding. We’ve opened a new office in Melbourne!

And what a week it’s been. With the installation of the new IT system currently underway, it won’t be long until it’s all systems GO for the Melbourne office!

Taking the reins in the Melbourne office is our very own Senior Loss Adjuster Benjamin Chang, as the Victoria Manager, along with Loss Adjuster Zack Mun.

So far so good. The new FTA office is in the small suburb of Heidelberg. According to my Google searches, Heidelberg lies about 18 kilometres north-east of Melbourne’s CBD. It’s quite small, with a population of just over six thousand people.

Melbourne

Hello Melbourne! Image: Pixabay.com

So, what does Heidelberg have to offer for a small business like FT Adjusting? According to Domain, Heidelberg is a suburb of contrasts that has ‘something for everyone’.

From the fabulous Heide Museum of Modern Art, to the Warringal Parklands, Heidelberg has it all. There’s the chance to sit down in a hipster café and drink filtered coffee and dine on smashed avocado. Hell, that’s more than most hopeful homebuyers in Sydney can say. But it’s also changing rapidly. Thanks to some zoning changes, apartments are booming. People, and businesses (!) are buying.

And this is where Zack and Ben are now calling home (or rather, work). It’s a tough job to set up a new office – which includes organising insurance, phones, IT and filing systems and office furniture. Hats off to you guys, Ben and Zack, and congratulations to the rest of the team here in Sydney for making sure the operation has been a success. Watch this space for more information and updates about the magnificent Melbourne marvel.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Contact details:

PH: (03) 9450 7839
Suite 114, Level 1
486 Lower Heidelberg Road
Lower Heidelberg, VIC, 3084

A Big Announcement From FT Adjusting

FT Adjusting has come a long way since we started. Our incredible director Ian McWalter worked for Technical Assessing Pty Ltd from 1991 until he was one week shy of twenty years at the company. In 2011 he left to start FT Adjusting along with co-worker Lesley Thompson.

Today, FT Adjusting prides itself on our ‘nichepertise’ by specialising in Construction and Engineering claims arising under Contract Works, Professional Indemnity and Product and Public Liability policies.

In the spirit of Fatboy Slim, we’ve come a long, long way together, through the hard times and the good. And now we have a very good cause for celebration.

This week, we announced the opening of our new office in Melbourne!

This is a giant step forward for FT Adjusting. As a small business, we’ve always stuck by the philosophy of ‘knowing your business’. We’ve excelled in the niche area of construction and engineering claims in Sydney, and now we’re more than ready for the challenge of tackling the Melbourne market.

Taking charge of the Melbourne office is our very own Senior Loss Adjuster Benjamin Chang, as the Victoria Manager, and Loss Adjuster Zack Mun. Although it’s very sad not having Ben and Zack around the Sydney office anymore, we’ll continue to work very closely as a team.

If you’d like to get in contact with the team at the Melbourne office, see our contact details below.

Announcement

Big news from FT Adjusting!

Words by Skye Jamieson

Weapons of Mass Distraction

Keeping motivated and alert can sometimes be difficult late on a Friday afternoon. The weekend is just out of reach, the office feels unusually stuffy, and you find yourself side-tracked by amusing animal videos while scrolling through Facebook.

Maybe you’ve even been distracted from a conversation or writing an email by this blog. I don’t blame you. Everyone knows that loss adjusting blogs are the most entertaining! Well, it’s time to stop watching adorable puppies falling asleep in their food bowls (aww!!). Inc. has gathered some of the most useful tips to eliminate distractions in the workplace.

Distractions

Image: pexels.com

Create a sanctuary

Having your own space, free from noise, distractions and even your phone, can lead to the best kind of creative thinking. In a solitary space, it’s easier to get in the zone and complete the project you’re working on. Think J.K. Rowling, who isolated herself in a suite adjacent to a castle while writing the seventh Harry Potter book. Where’s your castle?

Plan your hours

Allow yourself a set time during the day, maybe thirty minutes, to check social media and email. Then switch off any notifications. By not allowing yourself to get distracted in the first place, your performance will greatly increase. Not even by cat videos.

Log your good work

Keep a tally of your focused, undistracted working hours. Apparently, it’s a good way to confront reality, something that I generally try to avoid. Sometimes you think you’re working undistracted, when in actual fact you’ve forgotten about that Buzzfeed quiz you did that tells you what kind of potato you would be.

So next time you catch yourself slipping away to the world of Twitter or Instagram, try and remember one of these helpful tips. It might just save you time in the long run.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Sleep Thought

It’s something that we do every night – sometimes without trying, and sometimes after a long struggle. Sleep is something that we all need, but often don’t get enough of. And it’s having an impact on our workplaces. Lack of sleep is considered one of the greatest contributors to lost working hours in Australia.

Add on to that the high rate of sleep disorders, such as sleep apnoea and insomnia, and we’re looking at a serious problem.

It can be frustrating trying to get some Z’s, and it’s easy to slip into what’s known as the ‘worry cycle’. Lying there, wide awake in the dark, you become hyperaware of your inability to sleep. This creates a feeling of anxiety that you won’t get to sleep. Rinse and repeat. It’s a vicious cycle. Luckily, inc. has some suggestions for those who become overwhelmed with life decisions and mental challenges right before bedtime.

sleep

Image: Hernan Sanchez on Unsplash

Avoid Blue Light

Exposure to blue light from electronics and mobile phones can have a severe impact on your REM cycle and make it a lot harder to fall asleep. Try and avoid using your phone before bed.

Avoid Caffeine

Caffeine, in the form of coffee, tea or energy drinks, can impact your ability to fall asleep. You should try and stop drinking caffeinated drinks around 3 – 4 hours before bed.

Create Routine

This one may seem too good to be true – but our bodies love routine. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and importantly, wake up at the same time each morning. This can make a huge difference within weeks.

These small changes could drastically reduce the chances of you falling asleep at your desk. More sleep means more productivity and focus in the workplace and a healthier and happier you.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Ladder to Success

When Men Without Hats released their song ‘Safety Dance’ in 1982, I can imagine that a shudder of horror ran through everyone involved in the construction industry. How many times had it be emphasised through occupational health and safety regulations that we need to wear hard hats on a construction site. The so called ‘safety dance’ was undoing decades of hard work. Won’t somebody please think of the children!

Thankfully, all was not lost. Today, safety in the workplace is one of the most talked about issues in the construction industry. It’s especially common around this time of year. That’s because it’s one of our favourite weeks – Safety Week! Even though it’s mainly observed in the US, it’s something that we feel is a great starter for conversation about safety procedures in our Australian workplaces. As a loss adjusting company specialising in claims relating to construction and engineering, we have to tick all the safety boxes while visiting a site or investigating a claim. This includes wearing appropriate clothing and footwear and following all safety procedures on the site.

construction

Image: pexels.com

On behalf of Safety Week, Zurich Insurance has put together some information on one particular workplace danger – ladders. Here’s what you need to know:

Ladder Safety

  • According to OSHA, in the past ten years statistics show a 50% increase in ladder-related injuries*
  • Incidents commonly occur as a result of climbing the ladder with tools, or working from an unstable position on the ladder.
  • You shouldn’t climb a ladder if you feel dizzy or tired.
  • You should always wear clean, slip-resistant shoes while climbing a ladder.

Of course, these are just the basics for ladder safety. There’s plenty more detailed information available on the Zurich Insurance website. One rung at a time and you’ll be climbing the ladder to success.

*OSHA US DOL statements 2016

Words by Skye Jamieson

FT Absence

There’s a curious sound in the FT Adjusting office this morning – and that’s the sound of silence. The office is strangely empty.  There’s been no loud phone conversations and hardly anyone has been coming in and out of the office. The musical duo Simon & Garfunkel certainly knew a thing or two about this peculiar phenomenon. In 1964 they released their hit ‘The Sound of Silence’ (1964! Let that sink in for a moment).

So way back in the Stone Age, Simon & Garfunkel departed this eternal piece of musical wisdom upon us: ‘Hello darkness my old friend/ I’ve come to talk with you again.’ There’s been endless analysis on the deeper meanings behind the song, but for today’s blog purposes it’s being used to capture the disconcerting feelings and the hollow echo of silence in our office. Just go with me here.

silence

Image: pexels.com

It just so happens that a few of our staff, including our glorious leader Ian, are away on leave. Where are the others, you ask? Well they’re out doing what every good loss adjuster does – visiting sites and communicating directly with insurers and the insured in the field. According to our Cadet Loss Adjuster Shay, the amount of time you spend on site really depends on the type of claim. For most contract works, you can expect to be on site anywhere from thirty to forty-five minutes. For more complex situations, a site visit could take up to an hour or more. And handling multiple claims at a time can mean multiple site visits.

Unfortunately, that leaves a rather empty office headquarters around here today. There’s hardly any keyboard tapping, boiling kettles or banter between desks. Things will most likely be back to normal after the Anzac Day public holiday – it’ll return to a full house! But for now, I can really see eye to eye with the lyric: ‘But my words like silent raindrops fell/ And echoed in the wells of silence,’ – and what I wouldn’t give for some friendly office banter right now to fill that silence.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Efficiency Advice

The theme of the week here at the FT Adjusting office is efficiency, and as we all know, it only takes one appealing email link or extended tea break (did someone say Tim Tams?) to completely derail productivity levels for the day. So, after seeking out sources in the office and a bit of running around, I managed to score a few red hot efficiency tips from some of our elusive staff.

FT Adjusting’s Hot Tips for Efficiency in the Office

 

Shay uses sticky notes around his computer to stay on top of urgent tasks. He listens to empowering and brain stimulating music to keep his mind focussed, and believes drinking a lot of water is important. Geoffrey’s number one tip for efficiency in the office is to utilise his filing tray by prioritising files from most urgent to least urgent. He says the highest priority files are the ones on his desk!

Desk

Image: pexels.com

Simon uses a whiteboard in his office to create To-Do lists, organise his time and schedule appointments in order to effectively give an individual his undivided attention. Zack harnesses the concentrated power of metal music (while wearing headphones!) to “get in the zone” and block out distractions in the office.

Lesley, our office manager, is a big believer in writing lists and using sticky notes in order to complete tasks efficiently. In terms of minimising errors, she always checks once, checks twice, and checks again.

Ian, our Director, begins each day by mediating, as he has done for the past twenty years, in order to become focussed. Ian’s hot tip is to first complete the tasks you don’t want to do, which then leaves time to focus on other tasks.

So there you have it! As you can see, the team here at FT Adjusting are an efficient lot. And in the complex world of loss adjusting, efficiency and productivity are most definitely essential skills.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Water Cooler Conversation

It’s only my second day in the office here at FT Adjusting and I’ve already developed a slight attachment to the water cooler in the corner of the office. Like the animals in the African savanna, us office-dwellers have long been drawn to the nearest water source for refreshment, particularly when the air conditioning has been overworked in the heat of the Aussie summer.

Elephants

Image: pexels.com

For many years conversation around the water cooler was the perfect opportunity to ponder life’s unanswerable questions (like why on earth did Apple remove the headphone jack?) but with the rise of social media the office bulletin boards have been reduced to measly 140 character tweets.

And with the rise in social media use in the office, reports Insurance Business, comes a higher risk of cyber breaches in the workplace. Insurance Business believes that human error is one of the most common causes of cyber breaches. Yikes.

With mandatory breach notifications recently passing through Parliament, Lennon* noted that he expects to see the cyber insurance market continue its growth over the course of 2017 as businesses learn that cyber risk is an issue that reaches far beyond the IT department.

With this prediction we can expect to see even more ridiculously complicated password requirements. So stay hydrated, folks, maybe the water cooler isn’t so old school after all.

*Nick Lennon, country manager at cyber security firm Mimecast.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Vacancy: Social Media Manager

Are you a busy university student? A social media maven? A lover of monthly pizza parties? If you mentally ticked all three boxes, then FT Adjusting would love to hear from you!

Our company

FTA is a loss adjusting firm based in Epping, a few minutes from the station. Our small team draws on their diverse skills and experience to investigate and report on insurance claims. Construction and engineering is our forte; we have ‘niche-pertise’, and we’re proud of it!

The position

As Social Media Manager, your job is to produce content for FTA’s online platforms. You will write blog posts, run our Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, and create and edit any marketing or promotional material the company needs. From time to time you may be asked to provide admin support (i.e. answer phones). If you take to our (very simple) office procedures, you might inherit additional responsibilities under the tutelage of our lovely office manager!

Social media

Image: pexels.com

You

It’s ESSENTIAL that you:

  • are a journalism or media student (related disciplines also welcome)
  • can independently manage your own time and decisions
  • have exceptional research and writing skills
  • have plenty of creativity and a sense of humour
  • have an eye for detail and an open mind
  • can take initiative and learn on the fly

It’s a BONUS if you:

  • can use WordPress, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • have some editorial, graphic design or admin experience

In return you’ll get:

  • a small, dedicated and friendly group of colleagues
  • flexible hours (equivalent of one eight-hour day a week)
  • your own office in an easily accessible building
  • valuable writing and social media experience

Interested?

To apply, please email Jenny Ryan (Social Media Manager) at jennyr@ftadjusting.com.au with your:

  • resume
  • cover letter
  • best piece of writing (any kind!)

Applications close 12 February 2017. We look forward to reading yours soon!

It Takes Two

You may remember that back in November Zack gave us his thoughts on the challenges of being a new loss adjuster. He noted that there isn’t much new talent coming to the field. And it seems that this problem isn’t isolated to loss adjusting: the insurance industry at large is struggling to find new recruits.

Insurance Business Online wants to answer the question: how do you attract new talent this year? They’ve got two helpful suggestions for us all.

  1. Invest in the future
  2. Sell the soft benefits
Girl thinking at desk

Image: pexels.com

The first idea is simple: want someone to contribute to your future? Invest in theirs. Many jobseekers want training and development opportunities. If insurance companies offer those to prospective candidates, then those potential employees may see a clearer future in the industry.

It’s also not a bad idea to spruik things like a good work-life balance. These type of lifestyle benefits are increasingly popular and encourage employee retention. It’s always good to know that your workplace cares about you.

Meeting of young people

Image: pexels.com

Ultimately, these two ideas suggest that new talent are attracted to supportive and flexible employers. It’s a give and take situation: if they’re going to give their time and effort to a company, what can they get in return?

Nobody’s saying that just throwing benefits at candidates is the right way to attract them. But maybe it’s worth thinking about what each party can offer the other when it comes to getting the next generation on board.

Words by Jenny Ryan